Raleigh, N.C. — Donald Trump spoke to the N.C. Republican Party's state convention on Friday and once again raised the "birther" issue. For those who may have missed all this nonsense of the past four years, the birthers claim that President Barack Obama was born somewhere other than Hawaii - most of them say Kenya.
This claim has risen, been proved false, and faded several times over the past few years, but never seems to quite go away.
Trump, the bombastic real estate mogul and one-time GOP presidential contender, is the latest to draw attention to these claims. In Greensboro, he called on the president to release his college transcripts so that everyone could inspect what he put down for "place of birth" on the forms.
"There is one line called place of birth, I’d like to see what he said....Perhaps it’s going to say Hawaii, perhaps it’s going to say Kenya," several news outlets reported him saying.
It's worth noting that an Arizona official just apologized for the embarrassment he caused his state by asking Hawaii for proof of the president's birth. Hawaii obliged, by the way, but not before a bit of e-mail fun with the folks in Arizona.
There have also been North Carolina Congressional candidates who backed off birther claims during the May primary.
Really, the only thing you need to know about this controversy is that PolitiFact, which has won a Pulitzer Prize for fact checking, and FactCheck.org have repeatedly addressed this non-issue. FactCheck has even been kind enough to post a copy of Obama's certificate of live birth
Given what we know and have seen, no credible news source or mainstream politician is seriously questioning the whether the president is actually a U.S. citizen or not. That question has been asked, answered and is now verging on silly.
The thing that's keeping Trump in the spotlight is that Romney is embracing him as a friend of the campaign and allowing "The Donald's" claims to step all over his messaging. This is becoming less a question for Trump to answer and one for Romney, as CNN reported:
Asked on his charter plane Monday night whether Trump's questioning of Obama's birthplace gave him pause, Romney said he was grateful for all his supporters.
"You know, I don't agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don't all agree with everything I believe in," Romney said. "But I need to get 50.1% or more and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people."
Romney has said in the past that he firmly believes Obama was born in Hawaii, and is thus constitutionally eligible to be president.